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21:30 21st March 2017

Chester 2 Macclesfield 3

Macclesfield Town took all three points in a thrilling Cheshire Derby on an emotional night at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium. James Alabi fired the Blues ahead with his fifteenth goal of the season before goals from Andy Halls and Anthony Dudley saw Macc take a lead into the break. Substitute Kane Richards pulled the Blues level before Ollie Norburn struck the games deciding goal.

Jon McCarthy made two changes to the side that lost in the closing moments against Eastleigh on Saturday, with Danny O'Brien and Tom Shaw coming in for Theo Vassell and Kane Richards.

Respects were paid to the late Garry Allen, who tragically passed away at the beginning of the Tranmere game, before the game, with both teams and fans paying their respects.

Macclesfield made a bright start to the game with Rhys Browne and Ollie Norburn both striking from the edge of the area, though neither effort tested Alex Lynch in the Blues goal.

It was the Blues who would break the deadlock though, with James Alabi doing brilliantly to control the ball in the penalty area, before turning and firing low past Scott Flinders. The Blues top scorer then dedicated his strike to Garry Allen.

The goal gave Chester confidence and with Durrell pulling the strings the home side started to look dangerous, Durrell himself forcing Flinders into gathering a long range strike at the second attempt before Alabi broke free down the left side before cutting back and curling an effort just wide.

Macclesfield thought they'd equalised after eighteen minutes as Neill Byrne powered a header goalwards from six yards but Blues stopper Alex Lynch flew across his goal to push the ball away in a stunning save.

It wasn't long before the visitors did get level though, after terrific build-up play from the Silkmen, the ball was backheeled to full back Andy Halls, who curled the ball around Astles and past Lynch. 

The visitors continued to press and Fitzpatrick almost fired them into the lead, with only the post denying Macc the lead, Mackreth was quickest to react but Johnny Hunt made a superb block to force the ball out for a corner.

After the Silkmen's equaliser the chances quietened down, but the visitors were able to snatch a lead on the stroke of half time. Jack Mackreth turned back on the byline and stood a cross in that Anthony Dudley headed back across goal and into the bottom corner just two minutes before the break.

The Blues started the second half brightly with Tom Shaw striking from thirty yards and it just rising over Flinders.

Chester almost got back level within five minutes of the restart, as James Alabi got in behind the Macc defence but his effort rebounded against the post.

At the other end Macclesfield almost extended their lead as Danny Whitaker caught Chester a step slow at a throw-in and fired into the sidenetting.

Macclesfield had another chance to extend their lead as Dudley met Browne's cross but he could only scuff a shot goalwards and Lynch was able to gather.

The Blues managed to get back level with fifteen minutes remaining as Kane Richards converted Elliott Durrell's low cross to set up a grandstand finish.

Rhys Browne took it upon himself to try and get the Silkmen back ahead as he cut in from the left and curled an effort just past Alex Lynch's post a minute after the restart.

The visitors went close again as Rhys Browne saw his effort blocked by Hughes before the rebound fell to Norburn and he was denied superbly by Ryan Astles.

As the pace picked up and the game once again became end to end Lucas Dawson saw an effort saved before Whitaker couldn't find the target with his header.

With five minutes remaining Macclesfield broke Blues hearts, Rhys Browne chased down Vassell before squaring to Norburn, who struck low from the edge of the area and it crept in off the post.

Browne continued to put pressure on Vassell and was able to turn inside again but was superbly denied by Lynch in the Blues goal.

Chester: Lynch, O'Brien (Vassell 45), Hughes, Astles, Hudson (Richards 45), Durrell, Dawson, Lloyd, Hunt, Shaw (c), Alabi
Subs: Roberts, Horwood, Joyce

Macclesfield: Flinders, Halls (c), Fitzpatrick, Byrne, McCombe, Browne, Norburn, Mackreth, Whitaker, Dudley (Holroyd 88), Summerfield
Subs: Ross, Pilkington, Thorne, Haworth

Goals: Chester: Alabi (6), Richards (75). Macclesfield: Halls (23), Dudley (43), Norburn (85)
Yellow Cards: Chester: Durrell. Macclesfield: Whitaker, Norburn.
Man of the Match: Durrell.
Attendance: 1,802

Referee: Thomas Bramall
Assistant Referee: Darren Wilding, Matthew Smith
4th Official: Kristian Silcock

Match Report by Chris Graham


    Did you know that Chester FC celebrate 130 years of history in 2015?